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Steve Young says San Francisco 49ers' quarterback situation is a 'bit of a mess'

Steve Young
Steve Young is back at the American Century Championship. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Steve Young has been a part of a San Francisco 49ers quarterback controversy before, and he sees one brewing with the team's current roster.

The 49ers traded three first-round picks to move from No. 12 in the 2021 draft to No. 3 to select North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, who will challenge incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo, who led the franchise to the Super Bowl two seasons ago.

Young said those draft day moves revealed the hand of 49ers general manger John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan.

"It's a little bit of a mess, right?" Young told Nevada Sports Net at the American Century Championship. "John and Kyle have spoken as loudly as you possibly can by doing something that's only been done a handful of times in history, to essentially trade the future away for a person that now needs to play and everybody knows it. They couldn't speak any louder to Jimmy that, 'You're not that guy,' but yet here we are. Jimmy's a great guy, so he'll figure out his way through it. If he wasn't, it'd be more complicated, but it's a complicated situation."

Young said he earlier this offseason he assumed Lance would start the 49ers' season opener. With training camp looming and Garoppolo still on the roster, now he's not so sure.

"If you told me that a month ago, I'd say, 'Absolutely. No question,'" Young said of Lance being the day one starter. "They've spoken. They have to go forward with their plan. At this point, there's a locker room and as Jimmy sticks around longer, it's going to be more and more complicated, and unfortunately I think that complexity — it could be creative; it could be good — but it also could be toxic. You just don't know."

Young replaced Joe Montana as the 49ers starting quarterback in 1992 and led the franchise to its last Super Bowl title in 1995. He retired in 1999 and has been a fixture at the American Century Championship ever since.

"It's like a reunion," Young said. "You see friends you don't see otherwise. Relationships are built through your profession. Like anything, in football, you fall off a cliff when you retire. Everybody just kind of disappears. This is a chance where it's like a conference and then you play some golf because everybody loves to golf. The only question is it's fun to get your juices flowing and be competitive, but there's just that little part of you that's like, 'Oh, crap, I don't want to look like an idiot.'"

You can watch our full interviews with Steve Young, Travis Kelce, Derek Carr and Annika Sorenstam below.


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